various aquarium plants: gravel or some sort of soil?
I have a couple plants in my tank. 2 Crinum Thaianum, 4 Aponogeton Ulvaceus, 1 grass who's name escapes me, and 1 Nymphaea Lotus . My tank's dimensions are 3 feet long, 1 foot wide, 20 inches tall.
To test the pH I bought a test kit, but instead of buying the normal one i bought a High Range pH test kit that says the pH of my water is 8.2 but that just doens't seem right because our well water is very soft. Anyways, my plants are planted in about 2 inches of rather coarse gravel (I would say 1/4") so I'm wondering if that's enough for them. Also, would they do better if I were to plant them in some sort of soil? My light is an all glass 22", 17W fluorescent tube. My fish in there are in my signature, minus the normal algae eater, he died.
Fine gravel is just fine for plants. What matters most to them is a full spectrum light and high intensity light. So do you have one or 2 tubes above the tank? What brand and/ or name is that bulbs? These can be easily exchanged of need be for a more "plant friendly" light.
If you don't know what light you have, what does the tank look like? Rather dingy and red-yellowish or BRIGHT and clear almost blueish light?
The second most important thing for proper plant growth if the nutrition's they need. Now if you're using well water it could well be that they already receive a fair amount of Iron needed and may not need add fert's. There's only 2 ways to know if you need additional stuff or not: Do the plants grow GOOD/ quick are they healthy and green looking or rather kinda wilting and yellow leaves etc?
The tube that comes with the All Glass fixture is not very good. The fixtures are well made in my view, I have two of them; but the tubes went to the recycling. Replace the tubes with full spectrum and you'll be fine. With a single tube over the tank (assuming this is your fixture), I would suggest a Life-Glo or Life-Glo 2 or a Zoo Med Ultra Sun. Leave it on for 10-12 hours each day, a timer is a good investment as it allows a regular light period.
I have one tube. It doesn't say what brand. It's hard to tell what color it is because the tank is right by my window so there is too much natural light influence. The plants are all green, except for the lily, its leaves are pink. I have a coupon for $2 of of any Glo tube. Which one should I get? Flora Glo, Life Glo, or Power Glo?
There are two, one called Life-Glo and one called Life-Glo 2. The former has a special coating on one side of the tube (inside) that reflects light, making it more intense. This is the best, but if you can only get the Life-Glo 2 it will also be good light. I had one Life-Glo 2 on my 33g for months.
If you do manage to get the Life-Glo, make sure you put it in the fixture so the coating side (it will be a bit thicker looking, hard to describe) is on the back side next to the fixture so the light is directed out the side over the water.
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